Skip to content

Welcome to the
Zeanah Engineering Complex

Zeanah staircase


The Zeanah Engineering Complex is a transformative facility designed to welcome and immerse students into the community of engineers—with spaces that advance the state-of-the-art of education and research. It features our first-year engineering programs, the Kao Innovation and Collaboration Studio, our top-ranked Department of Nuclear Engineering, and new flexible research laboratories.

Students researching on the computer


Engineering Vols step into the John and Ann Tickle Atrium—the connective heart of the complex. The southern entrance faces the natural beauty of the scenic Tennessee River while the northern entrance and plaza bridges the complex to The Hill, UT's historic vantage point of science and tradition. Hallways spanning from the atrium lead throughout the 228,000-square-foot complex to classrooms designed for engaged instruction and flexible-use research spaces. Alcoves on each floor offer opportunity for individual study or impromptu collaborative discussion. Dynamic messaging throughout the complex imbues the atmosphere with a culture of laboratory safety and accessibility that the college strongly supports and encourages.

I've loved studying in the Nuclear Engineering Building the past couple years, but I'd be lying if I wasn't excited to move into the new complex. Seeing the progress after class daily has been awesome and I can't wait to see and start studying inside the finished building."

— Anthony Tom, nuclear engineering student

This is the new home to the top-ranked Department of Nuclear Engineering with enhancements for their research and activity.

Eric Zeanah

It's been over 40 years since my journey began at the University of Tennessee. Having the opportunity to join so many caring alumni in contributing towards the evolution of the Tickle College of Engineering has been an honor. Now, to witness this beautiful facility come to fruition for the benefit of so many students just goes well beyond all expectations.”

- Eric Zeanah (ISE '84)

Students sitting in class


The ZEC is the largest academic building on the UT Knoxville campus.

More than 40 percent of Zeanah is flexible laboratory space that can be used by all engineering disciplines.

Touchscreen technology allows self-guided tours and quick directory information for visitors

A fourth-floor outdoor terrace facing the Tennessee River which can hold gatherings of 100+ guests when combined with adjacent indoor space.

The Zeanahs have made a tremendous impact on the college over the years, and it's because of the generosity of alumni like this that we have been able to grow both the college and its reputation.”

— Chancellor Donde Plowman

The cornerstone and archway entrance from Estabrook Hall are on display on the ground floor, framing an interactive history of the college.

Matthew Mench

Walking through this amazing building, it is impossible not to be excited about the future of engineering at Tennessee. The entire building has been designed to enhance the student educational experience and immersion in engineering, from the first year student in the maker labs and flexible collaborative classrooms, to the seniors with facilities and support for amazing design projects supported by industry. It is truly a world-class facility.”

- Dean Matthew Mench

Student working in lab


The Min H. and Yu Fan. Kao Innovation and Collaboration Studio will provide students hands-on experiences from their first day on campus through state-of-the-art equipment and space for creativity, innovation, and discovery. Learn more about the innovative classrooms.

The new Zeanah Engineering Complex is a great addition to this campus. It is time for new Vols to blaze new paths while honoring the work of those before them."

— Jasmine Toy

The ZEC is a place where hundreds of students will have the chance to interact with their faculty and peers, seek opportunities to further advance their careers, and create fantastic memories throughout their first year as engineering students. The new complex demonstrates the enormous investment that the donors have placed in us as young engineers. By improving our facilities and introducing a state of the art building, this shows that people really have confidence in us as students and want us to succeed, and that's incredibly motivating.”

— Sophia Hitson, TCE Undergraduate Research Assistant